BAs and BComs are no longer the favoured degrees.
Figures from the Ministry of Education show a changing face of study, with student numbers in health, engineering and IT rocketing.
Those taking accounting and English are dropping.
Universities of New Zealand executive director, Chris Whelan told Mike Hosking it's a long-term trend that's reflected internationally.
"Government's around the word have sort of been signalling to young people that there are good careers in STEM, science, technology, engineering, maths areas and young people have been following that advice with their feet."
He said young people are very rational.
"They are going to be investing a significant amount of time and money in getting a degree and they want something that they believe is most likely to make them employable and successful."
Chris said young people have been preferring to get a degree rather than a trade, and New Zealand needs both.
LISTEN ABOVE AS CHRIS WHELAN SPEAKS WITH MIKE HOSKING